Marijuana May Have a Role in Type 2 Diabetes

2012-07-09 05:40
Marijuana might have a role in type 2 diabetes

The use of marijuana to treat various health conditions is a controversial issue, even though 18 states plus the District of Columbia have recognized medical marijuana (cannabis). The list of medical conditions for which marijuana has demonstrated some benefit may have a new addition soon, because researchers have discovered compounds in marijuana that could help in the management of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Could marijuana really help with weight loss?

In a secret location in southern England, scientists with GW Pharmaceuticals are growing marijuana plants that have been bred to produce different amounts of cannabinoids, which are naturally found in the plants. Cannabinoids are chemicals that activate cannabinoid receptors in the body, which in turn may have an impact on gastrointestinal and cardiovascular activity, pain, and bone.

GW Pharmaceuticals has already produced a cannabinoid drug called Sativex, an oromucosal spray for relieving cancer pain and treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain. Investigators now announce they have discovered two substances--cannabidiol and THCV-- in marijuana leaves that can increase the amount of calories the body burns.

This discovery, along with previous test results showing that these two substances can treat type 2 diabetes in animals, will hopefully lead to drugs that treat people who have metabolic syndrome--the combination of diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure that significantly increase a person's chances of having a stroke or heart disease.

Currently, scientists are conducting four Phase 2a clinical trials involving 200 patients. According to Dr. Steph Wright, director of R&D at GW Pharmaceuticals, "We are interested in how these drugs effect the fat distribution and utilization in the body as a treatment for metabolic diseases."

Anyone familiar with marijuana may know that using the drug typically causes the "munchies," so how could cannabis compounds have the opposite effect? It appears that cannabidiol and THCV suppress the appetite, but only for a short time.

Simultaneously, however, both THCV and cannabidiol also have an effect on the fat level in the body and how the body responds to insulin. Specifically, researchers found that THCV increased sensitivity to insulin in animals while also protecting the cells that make insulin.

In addition, both compounds boost metabolism in test animals, which resulted in a reduction in fat in their livers and lower cholesterol. "Overall, it seems these molecules increase energy expenditure in the cells of the body by increasing the metabolism," noted professor Mike Cawthorne, who is the director of metabolic research at the University of Buckingham and the individual who has been conducting the animal studies.

Other marijuana studies
A recent study at Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, Plymouth University, found that a component of marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) had a mixed effect on patients with multiple sclerosis. Patients reported up to a 50 percent reduction in pain and an improvement in range of motion.

At the University of Haifa, investigators working with animals have suggested cannabinoids may be helpful in treating patients who have post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that has become of increasing concern as many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with the disorder.

Marijuana is frequently used to help cancer patients deal with chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. On another cancer front, there is growing interest in harnessing the potential anti-tumor abilities of cannabis as noted in a new report in Nature Reviews Cancer.

Clearly, marijuana and its components present a wide range of medical possibilities. Although more work needs to be done, the authors of this new research are hopeful their discoveries will lead to an effective treatment for diseases related to overweight and obesity and type 2 diabetes.

SOURCE:
The Telegraph, July 8, 2012

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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Comments

I have rediscover how effective cannabis is, helps me with my vision,numbness in my feet, pain,sleep and less likely to drink alcohol. It works
Thank you for sharing. Do you have type 2 diabetes or some other ailment? You mention numbness in your feet, which suggests diabetic neuropathy.
Type 2 and yes I also feel that prohibition has caused people to drink more alcohol when cannabis would have been a far less damaging to one health. It has only been a few years that we could buy Stevie a plant based sweetener last thing Bush did in office as a favor to coke a cola before that it was banned, its sold every where now. I even grow it in my garden.
You may want to research Richard Simpson Run from the cure he is now living in exile in Europe fearing arrest if he returns to Canada His Hemp Oil cure is similar to some of the cannabis formulas in the American Pharmacopoeia 1936 prior to its removal also Jack Herer had some writing on it in his book the Emperor wheres no clothes
this is NOT new information. for decades we've heard how slaves historically were forced to smoke cannabis because it made them harder workers. now you're saying cannabis helps people to burn extra calories and boosts their metabolism. like i said, this is old news repackaged. i'm glad cannabis is in the spotlight though. it's only a matter of short time until it is legalized. even if it is never legalized, it is here to stay, forever, thank goodness.
This article says: "Anyone familiar with marijuana may know that using the drug typically causes the "munchies," so how could cannabis compounds have the opposite effect?" ALL STEREOTYPES ABOUT MARIJUANA TEND TO ACTUALLY BE THE OPPOSITE TO SCIENTIFIC FACTS. Again, welcome through the looking glass, into the Bizarro Mirror World Fun House!!! "Marijuana smokers are thinner, less likely to be obese than non-smokers, according to new study" By Philip Caulfield, September 4, 2011. People who smoke marijuana regularly are less likely to be obese than non-pot smokers, according to a new study by French researches. "We found that cannabis users are less likely to be obese than non-users," Dr. Yann Le Strat, French psychiatrist and co-author of a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology. "We were so surprised, we thought we had made a mistake.” ...
You're quoting whatever you wish to make some sort of point. The authors also said there were a lot of potential variables - diet, activity levels etc. that weren't accounted for. If the study was negative that smokers are obese you would have jumped on that using the following "this study is flawed"....Your broad statement that all marijuana stereotypes tend to be the opposite to scientific facts is ludicrous and also so broad it's laughable. When anything is .researched about marijuana people like you who want marijuana to remain uncontrolled come out of the woodwork to beat your drums. Can you tell it's getting old?
Indeed, there is nothing new ... pot politics is a tedious propaganda war, that has been going on decade after decade after decade ... while the enforcement of the laws has gotten worse and worse ... Marijuana laws were originally based on the assertion that "marijuana is almost as bad as murder." The TRUTH is that hemp is the single best plant for people, for food, fiber, fun and medicine. It is BECAUSE cannabis is the best plant that it was criminalized, since governments are run by the most evil people, who were the best at being dishonest and backing that up with violence. The drug wars segued from slavery and racism, and they are more against marijuana than any other drug. If cannabis had never been criminalized, then it would be no big deal. However, it is illegal, and that tends mostly to keep getting worse. Therefore, indeed, I think banking on the pot drum is a good idea, and I will continue to think so, until it is fully legalized again. I tend to believe that my statements are more valid over generalizations than yours.
Isn't it sad that these scientists have to study this plant in secret ? It shows you the thug attitude of the world governments (except Uruguay, which might be the 1st country to legalize it soon), especially the USA. Heck, they will probably threaten Uruguay with something if they try to legalize marijuana, that 's the good 'ol US government for ya - 'do what I say or I will hurt you.'
I just started a petition on the White House petitions site, We the People to ask President Obama to consider the re-classification of Cannabis. Will you sign it? wh.gov/OBh7
I am suffering with an undiagnosed autoimmune disease, likely MS, that has literally put my life on stop. Everyday is pain, tingling, vision problems,... I can't even go outside anymore because the heat intensifies my symptoms so much. Marijuana is the ONLY thing that has provided me relief. I pray for the day when people like me can use these drugs for medicinal relief without risking jail or alienating loved ones.
From what I have been told by other patients whom are diabetic, high levels of THC seems to help with insulinemia, where the cells aren't taking up the insulin (type 2 by definition and a symptom of type 1 as well.) Cells take up insulin after consuming cannabis. A gentlemen once showed me his meter, before cannabis he had really high blood sugar averages, after cannabis, I think it was around 120 average. Which is not too bad.
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2005, and have been on metformin, 1000 mil 2 a day, glimiperide, 2 aday, suffered from mental disorders ( diagnosed)!!!! I recently started," self medicating," and now without their drugs, have no tingling in my hands, and feet, I'm more relaxed, not violently angry anymore, AND I LOST 4 POUNDS IN TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!WITH MUNCHIES AND ALL!!!!!!!! WOW !!!!! my new slogan," Weed," it does the body good,@!!!!!!
I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Dec of 09! I had been sober 6 yrs of marijuana! During those yrs i gained 40 pds, i had NOT 1 full nights sleep, suffered from severe depression, always had dealt with back pain, from prior accidents, but was much worse ( I do need surgery though, refusing) and contributed it to lack of exercise, stress and just life! I started to eat better, what i could anyway, exercised 6 days a week, px 90, Insanity, etc! Never got my weight down and of course Diabetes, HBP, everything that comes along with this disease stayed! I GAVE UP! In March 2012 (I weighed 220 pnds), I tried MMJ, Blown away instantly, i felt normal again! Started with 1 bowl a day and it slowly progressed to around 1/2 ounze a week! Feb 2013, Update! 168 pnds, I sleep again like a baby, Pain free, as much as can be! DIABETES FREE! HBP gone! Listen to me!! My diet has NEVER changed, Mcky D's, Taco Bell! I eat fast food easily, once a day! Huge soda pop drinker! NO EXERCISE, ZERO, NONE! I would like to think its MMJ, but who knows! If Drs need proof, here i am!
I know someone who has smoked marijuana for over 35 years.They are fully employed,with type 2 diabetes. He seems to be losing weight,and feeling fine.
Marijuana is a substance that possesses potential beneficial qualities, as do many other drugs. And like other drugs, it can cause some side effects and impacts each individual person in different ways. Some people can experience benefits while others may not. It also can be abused as can other drugs; prescription pain killers and meds for ADHD are cases in point. IMO, use of marijuana for medical purposes is going through "growing pains" and I for one am enjoying watching the idea of using marijuana for health issues grow and change.